Tourism Committee welcomes fourth round of RTIF

Tourism projects across the Highlands have benefited from a share of nearly £3million Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund (RTIF) to date; helping to enhance the visitor experience; develop infrastructure and to manage and improve visitor facilities.

Highland Councillors on the Tourism Committee have noted the 21 projects that have been awarded funding from the RTIF over the last 3 rounds of funding and the significant improvements they will offer the rural areas of Highland. They also welcomed a fourth round of RTIF applications that will be decided in September 2021.

Tourism Committee Chair, Cllr Gordon Adam welcomed the funding, saying: “The people behind developing the projects have demonstrated extraordinary resilience to deliver their projects throughout an extremely challenging time. This is a great success story for Highland with a significant £3 million of funding allocated towards a great range of projects across the region.

“With the Highland and Islands being recognised in Lonely Planet’s top ten places to visit and a fast-growing domestic market it has never been more important and necessary to upgrade our infrastructure and services to meet the expectations of the growing number of tourists.

“It can’t happen overnight, however, and we are very conscious that the current allocation of £3 million to the whole of Scotland will not cover anything like the range of worthwhile projects in Round 4.

“The Highland Council urges the Scottish Government to increase this fund so that the Highlands can provide the quality of facilities that our increasing number of visitors expect.”

A fourth round of the fund has been announced with a closing date for applications in September 2021. However, organisations seeking an early contribution as a “design grant” had to apply by 19 May 2021. Approaches made in relation to this have given an early indication of some of the projects that might go forward as full applications in September. Those potential applications that the Council are aware of at present are:

  • Achmelvich - improved parking and toilets.
  • Duisdale, Sleat - motorhome parking and waste facility.
  • Isle of Canna - improved welcome facilities and toilets.
  • Ullapool - creation of a promenade and visitor information hub.
  • Gairloch Beach - car park, new toilets and motorhome waste facility.
  • Stac Pollaidh - expanded car park and new toilets.
  • Glencoe - active travel improvements to connect visitor centre and glen.
  • Kilmuir, Skye (north of Uig) - parking, EV charging, toilets and motorhome waste disposal.
  • Kilt Rock - car park expansion.
  • Lairg - motorhome parking and waste facility.
  • Stoer / Drumbeg /Nedd - motorhome parking and waste facility, EV charging.
  • Glen Affric - improved parking, toilets and paths at Dog Falls.
  • Floddigarry, Skye - new car park and toilet facilities.
  • Loch Fleet - improved parking and visitor facilities at Littleferry.
  • Kinlochleven - motorhome parking and facilities.
  • Sandwood Bay - car park and toilets.
  • Portree - Bayfield car park.
  • South Bonar - resubmission motorhome facilities and toilet block.

The final deadline for ‘expressions of interest’ to be submitted is the 13 August 2021. It is anticipated that further community led projects are likely to come forward in the coming weeks. The Council is also considering whether further projects might be put forward for funding.

16 Jun 2021